tv U.S. and East Germany Cold War Relations CSPAN April 22, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am EDT
and you would like to join your fellow teachers across the nation, it is free and easy to register as a span.org/classroom. you can also have our president size poster when you sign up. it establishes all 45 presidents , you can find more out at our website. >> next on american history tv, historians discuss the action in east germany during the early cold war. they focus on the u.s. operations that focus on repatriating american soldiers after world war ii. as they talk about the joint british effort to build a tunnel into east berlin which the soviets discovered through a double agent. this is a part of a conference called changing the transatlantic intelligence community. which was held in washington dc
>> by davis richard craig, i am retired from american university. i wonder through the field of intelligence history, i am not a specialist or an expert in the way these panelists are. 80's a shame to be holy covers on intelligence history in washington in a time when no one is interested in intelligence. [laughter] introduce both panelists. but i will turn things over to them. kevin received his ba at william and mary and a phd from george washington. he has had a distinguished career in the army. he is ans at the cia,
author of four books. the two i am was familiar with are the cia and the origins of that. phd at theceived her ministry of science, from harvard. she is currently a professor at georgia tech. she, if i counted right is the author of five books. the two most recent are seduced right secrets. lovers, ands, spies, the story of invisible ink. that either paper emerged from their books. there are probably no books coming. i will turn things over to them. kevin will go first.
kevin: for coming out on this rainy day. it is quite similar to what we see and berlin. thank you for the organizers for the kind invitation to speak today. i am going to flock to this presentation pretty quick so we stay on time. you will be able to get kind of the main point as well. i will have to acknowledge that all of my comments are my own and do not represent the government. because of the topic it does contain scenes of death, i want to give you a little preview of that beforehand.
outline for today's talk is essentially looking at the operations of the army and its successor units in east germany from 1945 until 1955. as well as some of the issues the army faced that they encountered working with the soviets and working in east germany. intersection between the humanitarian zone as well as rent to bring home and in the intelligence from as well. as we know not everyone came home from world war ii, the bloodiest conflict in the sense of numbers that was lost. it was unprecedented where the casualties were created they were in every country in the world.
more americans were lost during this war. 1941, there was no great registration service. you pretty much had to start up from scratch. the army look back at this to , theow the army operated expeditionary force. to know what they established in world war ii, specifically what came after the had the removal and front and back to the ad states. it started with world war i. registrationrace is reported to the quartermaster corpse. they have the joint overview of the registration affairs.
there was about 22 registration companies in the european theater. frontere supporting the as well as the front moved towards germany, they continue to do the work behind the scenes. and takingtablishing care of the cemetery, that sort of thing. grace registration is a quartermaster responsibility. forare responsible evacuating their dead and their casualties to the collection points. where they would then evacuate the dead to the militaries. using personnel from other units and other members. as well as civilian laborers. 1945, the war was over
but there was no centralized grave registration. in november of 1945 it took about six months just to get off the ground because of the issues of demobilization. with everything that was going on in europe. they had littlejohn, the chief informed the, who registration command, you can see there is the responsibilities he had. it started out with about 7000 personnel for a variety of units, that were already in the country. in germany and in europe altogether. his demobilization did not change, the number changed rapidly. there was a number of free organizations throughout this.
issues, faced a lot of everything from getting typewriters to getting vehicles and personnel, to train personnel. it was not an easy task in 1945. ofs gives you an overview the four years of this as it existed. we are going to focus on the command in germany. germany, these are germany at the time, most casualties were a result of a bombing campaign. there was a significant number of casualties that died in pow camps. losses were not reported until april and may. the less soldier killed in the war was not the case because that was on april the war
carried on. a sherman tank was also destroyed, crew members were killed that as well. during the end of the war we had to think that it was pretty easy but for example the ninth army plus a total of 1300. over 5000 wounded. it hundred 62 were captured. between april and may 1945. there were also all thousand nine battle casualties that the army had in the last week of war. see haveon the ahr prisoners of war in june 1945. they were getting back to military control. there are having to be brought back to the united states which
they were dying or died on the marches. the number of americans and other allied prisoners of war that were actually killed by bombing during the last weeks of the war. the fact that the soviets never gave full access to their prisoner of war camps. as you can see many of them became the soviet occupation zone of germany and also what became part of poland. the army never have full access to these camps, during the war. they also faced the issue of atrocities committed against the civilians. with concentration camps, there was a number admitted by germans. this happened against the u.s. military and other allies. were very busy in
to sort outany these victims of atrocities. are many factors as you can see from these were crimes. because he was urging quick effort to try and identify where the cases were. them,y can investigate arrest the people who were involved. fromwas an ongoing effort the army for a number of years. this is accompanied by the fact that the army had to move, this whole area which had been conquered by the army at the war. was now in the soviet union in and they had to roll back the carpet. the u.s. army with the british had no intention of sharing.
effort wasme and spent here in june 1945 to go back to the permanent occupation zones. at that time the other allies moved inland. rolling in the carpet was very hasty, there was no registration organization. we were told they had to move quickly. they got on that. there still has to be 2600 americans in the soviet zone of 1945. likewise but complicated things all civiliansat and the german cemeteries had to be evacuated. the grave registration unit was evacuated, all temporary -- teries were
the hrc establishes a pattern and germany as laws other liberated areas. to try to account for dead personnel. this became the main activity. the search phase basically where you had all of the records, trying to find out if a were returned, combat at arms, prisoner of war, going to the local authorities and find out where any americans may be at. that was a major effort, complicated by the fact that the united states was not in the soviet zone. you could do these interviews with them. wasrecovery phase excavating the remains of where
they were in cemeteries or on the battlefield. especially some areas on the west wall, there are areas that are very tricky because of min es. visit identification point of france remains always reflected at which went what could be reflected. using a variety of tools and techniques and modern technology, as well as what we found at the grave site of those that remained. the army tried to do these identifications. the remains of the germany for a reburial, the movedfield commanders
around throughout where the forces were conducting operations. throw less germany. with a number of units, we do this kind of vocalization. they continue to shrink throughout this number. syria -- all of these eastern countries. 1945 theyl of continued, by the end of the hrc there are roughly 400 americans recovered from all three zones. the french, american, and british. cap this issue even further was hadfact that the soviets repatriation in the zones. this was an ongoing issue.
soviet zonehe as 19, something as early 45, the u.s. army requested access to the soviet zone to request more grave registration operations. at this point the army but there was as many as 4000 americans. in soviet territory. it was done through the office of military government who wasn't displaced persons division. so didly after 1950 or they become and grace registration in these areas even become a part of the charter in 1957. 1946 january, that is when the first grade registration teams only move into east germany. throughout the winter and spring of 1946, there was a back-and-forth to excess unit
states to access the soviet zone. by late summer of 1946, the soviets agreed to house the recovery teams to go into the soviet zone. to conduct a search and recovery mission. there was a lot of stipulations, i have written them down. it was not easy, they did not have free reign. they could not drive all over the area doing whatever they wanted. they were escorted by the officers, they had a strict itinerary. they could only go at certain places at certain times. they could not interview people. village,hey went to a the farmer would say we. the american spirit they could not drive to the village. they then had to make a separate request even if it is two kilometers away. it was a very complicated, frustrating expense for the americans to deal with this.
as you can see here the ourander who succeeded commanders complained about this as did many other officers. finally you have the showdown of repatriation in east germany where general clay said it was over with, with the soviet repatriation mission. they had to force them out. that led to the berlin detachment of the hrc being kicked out and no longer being able to do operations in the soviet zone. they were removed from berlin and went back to west germany. stillch point the army considers it was about 600 havingto recover and recovered from this time. over 2000 remained. significant achievement in such a short. of time given all of the
problems they dealt with with the soviet's. , youquote from the general will see in his book is a small portion or the script he wrote about many issues. some and itng about did not affect or a registration. nevertheless general clay was greatly frustrated. hrcting gears quickly, the also responsible for consolidating all the cemeteries across europe and 210 permanent cemeteries. at the same point congress then fished that we are turning returning the program of the dead. then they would have to turn over bodies, they would have to be sent to new york or rebecca has states. there was a massive undertaking
of returning to debt to the united states. the army also in the same. an undercurrent seeing them in frankfurt. you can see many american soldiers mostly through accident. there was a whole variety of death. in this case bringing all of these remains back to the end states. 1849 they no longer exist as relateste command, this to the registration of any department which is based in belgium.
they continue to do a recovery. of what the hrc received to that. the 78 detachment we were involved with. >> we went to determine if individuals recoverable or nonrecoverable. i heard the first search list as, looking at it >> >> the quartermaster took over, with the general hospital, the general counsel and this is 1977 they said it is
operations and the new mortuary that was built in 1952. this is where we get to the intelligence hold. because the soviets were not allowing the nicest going to east germany. able blast through. then the army hired private germans to go into east germany to conduct some grave registration recovery missions. the army provided the funding, information where the grapes east berlin from they would go into germany to do the mission. she said it is very critical of these missions. 1951 to about 1954.
at that point, nothing was fully aware of what was going on. that is such a shutdown the mission using these private german investigators. in the east zone. just quickly, even though the soviets refused, there are still glimmers of hope. 1951 and in the spring of that go, so iexchanged to know not to look into each of the zones. in 1955 the army went back to easter and here is howote from the doctor and
serious the message was about this. why were we pursuing this? >> i just have to say was there any intelligence behind this? >> this is one of the few ways they would have a official -- ss to indicator in what they were doing in each zone. i have two beyond with that. >> the official history of the berlin operations makes no
mention of hrc going into the soviets health. , this lead admission was not competent. >> likewise in east 5051. you may remember him from upper dish upper escalation germany. he was a member of the intelligence division. rollout using intelligence teams to collect the information in east germany. we are not trained. different, then intelligence collection. just quickly, the main faults of the hrc is this individual personnel file.
they are a part of medical records. >> or is an amazing run of information from this map. study so we were just talking about. this >> they --nsized the army again, the plus you have diminishing returns. the army was not able to collect as many lives as the cup they could. with east germany. by this point the soviets told them if you are to go into east germany you have to go to the government. will there be a military relationship. there were not going to do that.
a final note, the aura of grave registration missing. there is a story and the consciousness, carbonic it was a prisoner of war and he was one of the commandos at the time of this. comrades,veral of his in ahe then talked about slaughterhouse five. they are fictional characters. michael, heave seen is missing today. so it kind of in a nutshell created his that humanitarian activities. thank you very much. [applause]
>> how do i put mine on? are you back there? >> i think if you probably just x out of that. interest of time i conserved for the presentation loads. there it goes. i am delighted to be back at the wilson center, i was here last year as a fellow. but i am going to present today is what i completed last year year after being here last i thought i would start out with an anecdote.
, was coming back from a hike we were getting on the metro. there was a very intelligent train, i said i am involved with the human side of this. tohe expected me to say no people becoming double agents? createid yes actually machines can become double agents. with this presentation i will how there isw you and u.s.ayal cooperation in the 1950's. so as most of this audience knows the u.s. and u.k. have a long history of cooperation. of course in world war ii, u.s. intelligence said at the feet of
england because of they were so experienced with intelligence matters. later on they had a lot of cooperative agreements during world war ii. have the british usa agreement of 1943. it was largely about signal intelligence. use the u.s. could enigma by 1946. the with the cooperation. there was a load of cooperation and signal intelligence. also another project had intercepted interruptedges and them. they share their bounty with the u.k. as well. the new have a variety of defections, one man who has been talked about, he worked for the
soviet union. fromyou have other figures the projects, like a brilliant crypto analyst. she has quite a way with languages. have a man who was a double agent working for the soviet union. hisas always looking over shoulders. .hen there was another mole i here iswhere -- arlington hall where they worked on this project. were working on a code breaking project. here is where our story starts. once the soviets found out that the u.s. had broken their code. and changed everything
everything went black for american intelligence. that is considered one of the blackest moments, with early intelligence history. the soviet union was also very good at dealing with intelligence. of complexityiety in the u.k. and americas. william worked on another project, he was considered a gregarious guy who is always walking around looking over people's shoulders asking what they are working on. would get a load of information and pass it on to the soviet union. then there was the liaison in the u.s. as well. >> meanwhile during the same. tunnel there was a established in vienna from 1955.
where they've tapped the soviet land lines. because the radio had gone black , they thought it would be smart to stop -- start hacking into the lines. the top was discussed as a most of there, province came with the floor. -- here he is right here that she was a head of the berlin,. he was more charming and diplomatic. he was the brainchild behind that. that divided austria. this is an allied occupied austria.
there was also another plan to build a tunnel into berlin. that happened in 1953. there was all of these meetings between the csi and the ss -- sas. independently talk to is his idea it was great the cia said it was a better idea, the players here with those who worked with motorola. they are british, this it was their idea. they have this idea on the already expense and there had. the cia's participation was limited to monday -- money and funding. they said this is not the giant from the british. to sayns are not glad have a good day. is aow that this difference between driving. choice.nded up being a
here on the left we has volume. on the right frank bola. then there was one of those colorful figures who had a career in the fbi. then got drunk accident, then moved over to the cia. he is always described as this cowboy and berlin. he had this large pair of eyes that drank martinis with lunch. i don't know how many of the stories were true. others headed off to berlin. she wanted montgomery who was involved with that. cia hands off this to serve them -- circling the bill the berlin tunnel.
east yourse in the have the soviet sector and then you have the french, british, and american sector. was -- for the tunnel so we had -- this is all about -- over here you have the border. for those of you not familiar with the berlin tunnel story. we can figure it out how started to serve studiously how to get a total into a city. they would open about it, with the east germans. they are doing this and said they were going to do. so, instead they filled the
warehouse with all the dirt from the tunnel. it was sense successfully built without any suspicion from the east. those ones are a small problem. >> it was about as long as the reflecting pool. in washington. it was that long. it was ambitious project. blake, many of you know who he is. he wasn't sas officer. he had been captured in korea. sides,tually changed there are convicted stories upon why. says it was because of conviction. thought that the next system was bankrupt, there is
more to it than that. in any case so he comes back and korea, it gets here says welcome. there is an iconic image of him coming down the airplane. he comes back and there is no doubt about you. >> he was not happy that fact that this person became a double agent. he was working technical operations against the soviet union. there are always copies of the reports heading to the kgb. sas news a joint conference about the tunnel. that was passed on to the soviet union. it was basically a trade the minute it was approved. >> the so-called kgb had to
protect their source. you really knew about it they kept it running. they kept iran for 11 months in 11 days. running because they want able to destroy the tunnel. this of the kgb, the people who were using the land lines was that the kgb, it was the military forces. the kgb did not supposedly tell them. they knew. controversy inig this topic whether they were sending in misinformation during this time or whether it was genuine. analysis isfinal that it was genuine. even though it was short, we got a lot about the president.
collect at least we learn that they are not going to attack. it always do misinformation. quincy was not the land once that they wanted to share. they wanted to protect the source of the information. at some point they had to discover the tunnel. while protecting the source. it was a rainy day of april 1956. there were leaks in the house. created thetally berlin tunnel because of this. here are pictures as you enter the american side. you can see the border there is cross underground. study said they did
not expect a mold to betray congress. they don't believe the evidence here, i do not rub the codename of the tunnel. it was fortuitous and was not penetration of any concern. >> then that the trainer got betrayed. in 1961. sore was a polish defector, he basically was turned in. at the beginning of my presentation i mentioned that the very smart lawyer who said you can't have tunnels which have double agent. there is no such thing as this. they know about this. comingn be transferred
back into u.s. and u.k. cooperation. especially with the soviet union, it is so much with intelligence. who can you trust? there are a lot of projects with trade. in this case like was betrayed and he the british and the americans. the tunnel was betrayed as well. in conclusion this was the first of many projects i was betrayed by double agents, or a mold. there are many joint projects as well. involve the hazards using the berlin tunnel. [applause]
>> thank you both very much for the presentations. -- dutifullyuly following the clock on the wall, it is about one hour behind. not have quite as much time for questions as we thought. but we do have some time for questions. announce thate to immediately after the session we are going to move into the keynote address. if youremain here so have to take a bathroom break or something, do it quickly and come back here. questions, please identify yourself. >> i have a question for you,
kevin. i find it slightly difficult to accept your conclusion that the commandve registration were not being used for intelligence purposes. i am sure you have turned over every stone and not found anything. i found evidence that it was used at least for military purposes in the. when the three western powers became aware of what might happen. and might happen quickly there were staff talks, british
and american staff talks. held, whate being are we going to do and what preparations can be made. to stop this, it would have been impossible. stacking fuel. american registration command for that purpose. ir that clandestine periods have seen documents. i have never explored to what extent that was being done. youst wanted to signal to otherhere were perhaps ofrs of the structure finding the bodies of american soldiers. evin: thank you, i am not aware
of that incident of stocking fuel. i will certainly look into it. in eastre referring to germany itself. the team that went in and what they saw and what they did. mission,very focused they were under complete supervision of the soviet escort officers. when they stayed overnight in the guest houses, at their location, the east german police were there. there was very little opportunity for them to do anything but look for the grace of the crash site. to do the investigation, occasionally talk with the local burger meister. to say that there was no great in this village or this locale. for the most part the germans were reluctant to talk to the americans because they had a
soviet officer right next to them. when they drove down the conditionsd the road look like that, i am not sure if they brought back incidentals, but i have not seen anything of actual report listing that. leadership, by 1947 that is what their job was. , soviet see the reports army vehicles. definitively looking for intelligence reports. the information. >> a question for you as well. you mentioned as part of
are the roads,ow how is the harvest, beyond military intelligence. piece,ery threat, every they may adopt this assessment , of threatties projections. information that is a jigsaw these, you put together these other pieces, and may contain more information than we think. do you have any information about these people being briefed? reports,if there are that have been disseminated in any kind of agency, that would be an indication of having an intelligence value on top of
military intelligence. class i have seen nothing that indicates they went into the soviet zone with any kind of briefing. these were a part of the individual personnel files. there are pretty detailed reports about where they went and who they talk with. with cemeteries they went to, what they found in the course of their investigation. nothing extraneous talking about if they were informally debrief. this came out of any kind of published intelligence report. exchange of three u.s. teams going to east germany, and soviet teams went to west germany. then the army was very interested in the escort teams.
they were driving up through raymond, those were all counterintelligence agents. interested and collected what these officers were doing. they had an itinerary of what was happening. what they saw and asked the people about. what they did and their free time, what will free time they had. from an account intelligence standpoint, they were very interested in the soviets. >> over here. it was funny what you said about the americans, he had a lot of money. i am curious as to what gave you that impression. that. literature states
peter was quoted in a book about a tunnel beneath berlin. documents, her of liked equivalently that he was the founder. the curious thing when you look at the official history, on the web with the official history of the berlin tunnel. it makes it very murky about the origin of the tunnel. sure what led to the origin. if you read battleground berlin, it is pretty clear that those are the people whose idea it was. >> other questions?
>> just to follow up on that. it interesting that you mentioned the vienna tunnel. been told that there was also a similar tunnel in another city. there was also a situation of occupation as the different powers. i don't know anything about that. is that true? was this tunnel before or after the berlin tunnel? >> i don't know anything about that other tunnel. i heard something about other tunnels and there was of course one in washington dc recently. imagine people would use any opportunity they could. i wanted to use the berlin tunnel episode as a window into
the cooperation of u.s. and you can create technology is not foolproof. people always think that spies used to betray people but technology is not foolproof and that way either. that't know anything about tunnel, i will look into it. >> a question here. i would love your thoughts on why it was that it was a cia version of the tunnel as opposed to say ghq or nsa? that the sasgine did not have a crucial role in human intelligence. i don't know if you have seen anything like that. , maybe, withure
sas and the cia they were more rooted in these studies. at least with the cia they were going to leave people in berlin. they had more experience working in operations there. -- there is more information coming out of the sas. that is part of the problem as well. you would think they would play a bigger role. then they shared that with the nsa operations. i am not clear. would think of operations like that. it does not come out in the documents. >> just an observation on that.
with some of the technical interception happening in the u.k., they were handled by mi kind of a was tradition of them doing some technical work in this area. there was this discussion between gc hq some point after kind of like should we be doing this? mi-six said we are having quite a top job getting human agents into eastern europe and russia, they said would you mind keep on doing this because we are up against this at the moment. gc hq said yes. >> that is lovely to hear because that is a similar case with the cia. a similar thing happened there.
they had all of these parachute agents going in. into eastern europe and all of and aoperations failed lot of the agents would get caught, or sent back. those were human intelligence operations. that was one of the justifications to go for technology to use coddling. feltarly with the cia they that they were failing intelligence operations, they heard of these were these technical operations. is whye curious thing did the air force not take charge of this operation. that is another story as well. operations,d these they felt that the cia has more experience in clandestine i'm operations. they will be involved with it as
well. it is all interesting because a lot of unexpected things happen. why did the cia do spy planes and not the air force. they were looking at human intelligence. hands,n't see any more we are about out of time, please join me and taking our panelists for this. [applause] >> interested in american history tv, visit our website at c-span.org/history. you can view our schedule, preview upcoming programs and , and lectures, archival more. as c-span.org/history.
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